When I am at the off-leash dog park I am always in full observation mode. I watch the dogs with me and scan the area much like people do when driving their vehicles. As I walked around the large, open, fenced-in field I noticed a small black dog wearing the cutest coat. Clara was with another dog walker I know named Voula. I was curious where Clara’s coat came from since it was so unique.


When I got closer the coat made me smile; it was a beautiful shade of red. The colour was cheery like a red Lifesaver candy. On the fabric were large ladybugs across the back and sides. Clara’s name was embroidered across the collar of the coat which was a cute touch. I asked Voula where the coat was from and she told me it was a HOTDOGZ jacket and that they are custom-made.

It was a freezing day here in Toronto and it was the perfect coat to help with nature’s elements. It had a double layer of polar fleece Voula pointed out and I gave it a feel as dog walkers do to test things out. The coats are Canadian made and designed and I was happy to hear this. I was impressed and got the information to contact this family run business for a possible interview for this blog.

When I looked at their website I discovered that they are in Ottawa, Ontario. You can build your own dog coat with many options to create a one of a kind look. Options include adding reflective trim, choosing fleece colors/patterns, a faux fur collar, harness access, and adding your dog’s name. As the designer you can add a waterproof saddle or pockets too! I was intrigued and contacted them for a fun interview. The following is the interview with sisters Joanne and Michele.

Q: Please tell me how you decided to have a custom pet clothing and accessories business.
A: Having been raised in rural and isolated air force bases across Quebec and Ontario, our mother taught us at a very young age how to sew by hand, creating snazzy outfits for our stuffed animals and dolls. We never stopped. As we grew older we graduated to the sewing machine. Imagine sisters fighting over the sewing machine. Our mother seldom used patterns when making our clothes and of course as adults, we’ve inherited this skill of creating unique and amazing things from scratch. Over the years we have sewn clothing, embroidered, and completed many home décor projects, handmade quilts for our children, family and friends. As a professional dog walker and lifelong dog owner, we see first-hand the types of dog coats on the market. In particular, the selection of unique stylish coats incorporating warmth and functionality for large dogs or odd sized dogs is very limited.We are very passionate about our company and love the challenge of creating original and unique designs for our furry clients!

Q: I love the name HOTDOGZ & Co. Tell us about coming up with the name.
A: Yes, it took many brainstorming sessions. Our initial goal was to design unique, stylish yet very warm and functional dog coats, hence, the words HOT DOGZ.

Q: I understand it is a family run business. Who is involved?
A: Yes, this is a family run business. My sister and I are Co-Owners. Growing up together enables us to give honest feedback when discussing business details. We also have a mutual respect of our individual talents. Together we develop new and unique design ideas. Michele, our Designer and Stylist then takes our rough draft and creates a pattern, chooses fabric and trims, etc. We then cut, paste, embroider and sew as a team. My previous work experience – customer service in the hi-tech sector – provides me with the experience needed in business administration, customer interaction, website management, accounting and shipping. We both feel that providing a high level of customer service is essential for a successful business.


Q: How long have you been in business?
A: We are in our first year of business; however, this has been an ongoing hobby.

Q: As a Canadian I am delighted you are located in Ottawa. What made you decide to have them handmade and sewn yourselves?

A: First and foremost, this is our passion. We are very proud of our unique designs and workmanship.

Q: Your fabrics are very distinctive – what types of things do you look for?
A: We are very particular on selecting our fabrics. We have certain criteria we are looking for including uniqueness combined with functionality, warmth, and durability.

Q: Do you have a designing background?
A: No, although we do not have a formal background, as mentioned, we have many years’ experience perfecting our craft.

Q: Do you design mostly for smaller dogs?
A: We design custom dog coats for all shapes, sizes and breeds. As we have found, every dog is unique!

Q: Tell us some fun stories about designing for some dogs.
A: We don’t have a particular story in mind however we do meet and forge wonderful relationships with many interesting people. It is great fun working with all of our furry 4-legged friends!

Q: You must be dog owners as I have noticed the coats are very practical in many ways for both dog and owner. Do you have a dog?
A: Yes, we were raised in a pet friendly environment and have always owned dogs. As a matter of fact Bentley, Michele’s weimaraner and Broady, my schoodle are models in our Photo Gallery on our website. They are very precious to us!

Q: Where do most of your clients live?
A: Most of our clients are in the Ottawa area; however, we are slowly expanding across Ontario. We hope to continue to grow throughout North America.

Q: What accessories do you offer?
A: We are currently establishing our custom dog coats but have many ideas coming soon for our pet accessories.

Q: What are your dreams for HOTDOGZ & CO.
A: Our dream is to see our custom products walking down the street or wrestling in the dog parks throughout the city and eventually around the world.

Q: Tell us about your website – it is certainly very user-friendly.
A: Thank you. We have worked very hard in creating a user-friendly website. It is an amazing marketing tool for us to showcase our unique custom designs to the animal loving-world.

There is a Custom Dog Coat giveaway from HOT DOGZ & CO.

Here’s how to participate:

Access HOT DOGZ’S website between now and the end of February.

Go to the Contact Us page and submit your details stating you are entering the contest from dogstwentyfourseven.

At the end of February, all participants will be entered in the draw for a Custom Dog Coat.

The winner will be contacted by HOT DOGZ & CO. and posted on dogstwentyfourseven.

HOT DOGZ & CO. will then work with the winner to design a custom dog coat.

Free shipping will only be included to Canada and the US.


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About dogstwentyfourseven

Becky White is a dog walker.She and her husband live in Toronto with their two daughters.Becky has been a dog lover all of her life and feels now is the right time to share her stories, experiences and adventures!
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5 Responses to HOTDOGZ & CO.

  1. I couldnt resist commenting. Well written!

  2. Jon says:

    There is another company out of Ottawa that I love called Chilly dogs. Same idea as Hotdogz.

  3. I must thank you for the efforts you have put in writing this site. I really hope to see the same high-grade blog posts from you in the future as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my own website now 😉

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